Yesterday, the SCDF dispatched 3 fire engines, 3 Red Rhinos, 2 firebikes, 1 ambulance, 1 Unmanned Firefighting Machine, 6 support vehicles and 2 Marine Firefighting Vessels for a fire involving a barge at berth in Sembcorp Marine Tuas Boulevard Yard. Approximately 70 SCDF personnel are involved in this operation.
In addition to cooling the exterior of the barge, SCDF forces are simultaneously conducting interior firefighting operations within the barge. The huge barge measures approximately 200m by 50m.
At approximately 10:30 pm, about 7 hours upon SCDF forces’ arrival at the fire scene earlier this afternoon, the fire on the barge has been contained and is now well under control.
At the height of the operation, the raging fire within the barge not only affected Deck 4 but it was deep seated burning in several cabins of Deck 3 too.
As most of the internal wooden structures of the cabins had collapsed, this posed a severe challenge to SCDF firefighters in penetrating these cabins to swiftly mitigate the fire.
Besides preventing the raging fire from spreading to other decks, firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus set and armed with water jets, had to manoeuvre in pitch darkness through all the four decks of the barge amidst intense heat and while avoiding gaping manholes on the floor board at Deck 3.
In the midst of the interior firefighting operation, a Section Commander sustained a minor injury to his right leg due to scalding from hot run-off water and steam. He had been conveyed by an SCDF ambulance to the National University Hospital.
The firefighting operation is winding down now with SCDF currently mitigating small pockets of fire within the barge. SCDF resources at the scene has also been scaled down considerably.